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A Deep Dive in Petition Filing Stats

For the first time in more than two years, we observed an eye-catching quarter-to-quarter dip in the number of new patents challenged at the PTAB. Slightly more than 200 patents were hit with their first PTAB petition between July and September 2017. This figure represents the fewest number of new patents challenged in a quarter in nearly 3 years.

By counting only the first petition filed against a patent, we are able to observe the number of patents that are newly subject to PTAB scrutiny. This method sets aside any joinder petitions, “second bite at the apple” petitions, or multiple petitions (beyond the first) filed simultaneously against the same patent.

chart, ptab

The bars in the chart above count the number of patents each quarter that were never previously attacked via an IPR, CBM, or PGR petition. Through the end of September, there had been 7,558 total PTAB petitions. These petitions challenged 4,580 unique patents – an average of 1.65 petitions per patent. Two-thirds of the patents that have been filed against have been challenged by just one petition. Most patents named in multiple petitions have faced only two separate challenges, but there are three patents that have been challenged over 20 times.

Overall, 392 petitions were filed in the third quarter of 2017, making it the least active quarter for PTAB petition filings since the first quarter of 2016. While 2017 as a whole remains on pace to be the most active year for petition filings in the history of the PTAB, the quarter-to-quarter declines in both the raw number of petitions filed as well as the number of new patents challenged merit watching as we look to the future of PTAB activity levels in 2018 and beyond.

Patrick Murray authored this post.

© 2022 Sterne KesslerNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 319
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About this Author

Jason Eisenberg, Electronics, Patent Counsel, Washington DC, Sterne Kessler Law Firm
Director

Mr. Eisenberg, a director in the Electronics Group, provides strategic counsel from a quarter century of patent experience gained before and after law school. As reported by Managing Intellectual Property, in 2016 Mr. Eisenberg made an appearance as counsel in 53 of his almost 140 proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the USPTO.  In addition, he is both an editor and author of several chapters of the newly released Second Edition of Patent Office Litigation (Thomson Reuters, 2017). Mr. Eisenberg’s leadership at the PTAB belies the fact that he maintains a...

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